Polar Probings: Sculpture by Gabriel Warren

Gabriel Warren
American, b. 1955
Piesterion–Column 6 (detail)
Stainless steel
12' (height)
Courtesy the artist

October 13–December 8, 2011

Gabriel Warren creates sculptures using natural ice formations as source material. As noted by the artist, his sculpture is “intended to reflect the beauty of the natural sources from which they emerge… They represent my attempts to triangulate an understanding of a single natural phenomenon: ice.” Warren adds, “although ice is not the only source in the natural world for my sculptural probings, it is the dominant one and has been so for decades. Ice exhibits mind-numbing variability and variety on a visual plane, and, on a scientific one, understanding its behavior is key to understanding many other components of our world.”

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery will present a number of works by Warren, each layered with meanings and references to the condition of the planet and based on his close observation of the way ice behaves, including an outdoor sculpture installation adjacent to Cohen Memorial Hall, the home of the Fine Arts Gallery.

Warren received his bachelor of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has studied at the Tyler School of Art, Rome, Italy; Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts; the Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; and the Externat Notre Dame, Grenoble, France. Dividing his time between his studio and residence in Rhode Island and his summer home in a primitive cabin he built on a sea cliff in Nova Scotia, Warren travels frequently to Antarctica, making his 1999 trip as the recipient of a National Science Foundation “Artists and Writers in Antarctica” grant. His art has been shown at the Peabody-Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts; Newport Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island; Hunter College, New York, New York; and the Quay School of the Arts, Wanganui, New Zealand, among many other museums and galleries.

This exhibition is being presented in conjunction with the campus-wide initiative on sustainability and is supported, in part, by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the English Department, The American Studies Program at Vanderbilt University, and the Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Science.